Walkin' to Missouri

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"Walkin' to Missouri" is a popular song written by Bob Merrill in 1952.

The song is a prodigal son allegory about a young man (the story's metaphorical "robin") who could not fly and could only walk all the way back to his old home in Missouri, following a life of partying in the big city jazz scene - or the repercussions that happened as a result. During the course of the song, it transpired that he had "met a birdie who looked so nice", who, until the end, was secretly having an affair with someone else. While the song does not make any details of the revelation, it can be gleaned from the last verse that the protagonist was forced out of his comfort zone and likely lost money: "His dreams are battered, his feathers bent/And he hasn't got a cent/He feels like his heart is gonna break". The song, at the end, urges the listeners to show this "robin" some kindness if he ever approaches them, because the mistake is an easy one to make.[citation needed]

Sammy Kaye's version peaked at No. 11 (U.S.) in 1952.[1] In the United Kingdom, Tony Brent's cover version reached No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1953.[2] Other versions were recorded by Lita Roza (1953),[3] Sue Thompson (1957),[4] and Russ Morgan (1958).[5]


  1. ^ "Swing & Sway With Sammy Kaye* - One For The Wonder (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 77. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Lita Roza - (Poor Little Robin) Walkin' To Missouri/ Half As Much (Shellac)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  4. ^ "Sue Thompson - Walkin' To Missouri (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  5. ^ "Russ Morgan And His Orchestra - Let's Dance With Russ Morgan And His Orchestra (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20.